Rocco Chiccomancini as the innkeeper, left, Anna Kennedy-Jensen as Mary and Nate Haskell as Joseph follow along as narrator Teta Imfura practices her lines Monday at St. Brigid School in Portland. The students’ live nativity performance is part of special events planned for Sunday to bring the school and the community together to celebrate Christmas. Michael Kelley / The Forecaster

PORTLAND — A re-enactment of the nativity story has been part of the St. Brigid School Christmas concert for more than two decades, but this year the school will tell the story to a bigger audience in an effort to involve the community in its celebration of the season.

On Sunday, Dec. 15, 15 sixth-graders from the Stevens Avenue school, which has 250 students from preschool to eighth grade, will perform the live nativity for the public for the first time. Performances are set for 4:30 p.m. and 6:15 p.m., and a number of other Christmas festivities are planned as well.

Rocco Chiccomancini, 11, is excited to take on the role of the part of the innkeeper.

“This is my first time doing something like this. It should be fun,” he said.

This is the second time, Teta Imfura has acted in a live nativity performance. She will be narrator this year, but has played an angel in a performance at her church.

Although it is a story that his students know well, Principal Bill Burke sees value in reenacting it annually.

“My students living the word and seeing the word in action is the biggest piece for me,” he said.

This performance, he said, provides them a chance to show their faith publicly.

“We all need something to believe in as we go through life and a religious experience can guide us through that journey. Exposing people to the word of God can help them through that faith journey,” Burke said.

Sunday’s events, taking place from 4 to 7 p.m. at 695 Stevens Ave., will include Christmas caroling, a visit from Santa, a 5 p.m. Mass at St. Joseph’s Church and a tree lighting. Children will also have the opportunity to write a letter to Santa and decorate Christmas cookies.

Mary Ann Russo, the school’s director of  admissions and marketing, said the goal of the event is to bring the community together to celebrate Christmas.

“For us, it is about the celebration of Jesus’ birth, but also a way to celebrate together this very special time of year,” she said.

After the event, Russo said the letters to Santa will be brought to Macy’s at the Maine Mall. The Macy’s organization donates $1 per letter, up to $1 million, to the Make-A-Wish Foundation.

The event is free, but Russo said people are asked to bring a new unwrapped book or toy as part of Greater Portland Metr0/WGME’s Joy of Sharing, an effort to fill a bus full of toys and other presents to be delivered to children around the area by the Salvation Army

For more information, call the school at 797-7073, email [email protected] or visit the school’s Facebook page.

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